Shelby Park: A Review



Location: At the end of Shelby Avenue
Size of Park: Huge
Crowds: Medium
Approximate Age of Patrons: Adults
Topics of Conversation: Pit bulls and weed
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: All kinds
Perceived Safety: Medium high
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: High, plus there's a dog park
Number of pitbulls sighted: Mine for sure, two possibly in the distance, an impostor in a car
Accessibility: Medium okay. There are some places you may want to access that you can't.
Incorporation of Local History: In the park, low; on the greenway, better
Recommended Patrons: Everyone

I had a strange weekend filled with old men I don't know wanting to talk to me about weed. I don't know if this is an indication that the dealer who usually supplies old men has been arrested, so they're getting desperate; or when I'm just minding my own business out in public, I look like the kind of person who wants to discuss weed.

At Shelby Park, the old man wanted to discuss weed and pit bulls. Once it was obvious I had no weed, he had a bunch of questions about my dog. How old was she? Was she fixed? What kind of hillbilly name is "Sadie?" And he had what he claimed was a pit bull too. I glanced over at his car while he was telling me about his "pit bull," and saw a massive, massive dog that filled up his whole passenger seat. He admitted the dog was part Lab, but I feel pretty sure the other part is American bulldog, not pit bull, based both on the massiveness of the dog and the breadth of his face. Beautiful dog, though. The other two I saw at a distance and one looked like an Am Staff and the other smaller, either a mix or a really lean Staffordshire terrier.

The park is a lovely place to bring your dog. Just watch out for the goose poop, which dogs seem to think is candy from Heaven.

So what more can I really say about Shelby Park? Everyone in town is familiar with it. It's beautiful, even this time of year (and this time of year is some of your best river-viewing). They're doing massive renovations on the baseball diamonds — looks like new fencing everywhere, and possibly new dirt in some of the infields. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy things and plenty of places to walk or run. The playground equipment looked to be in good shape except for one set of swings, but those were blocked off with caution tape, so I suspect they're addressing it.

Shelby Park never disappoints. It's one of the best parks in Nashville.

I have two favorite things about the park. One is the bridge I took a picture of, that's all circle-y. And the other is all the weird old steps in the sides of hills. I wonder where they came from and why they're not more complete. Like parts of the hill that look really steep will not have steps ... and then parts will.

And these steps look dangerous — no handrails, slick in the rain. No one would put them in nowadays. But that's part of why I really love them. They just look old, like hobbits used them back when there was an entrance to the Shire here.

Plus the park is connected to the Shelby Bottoms greenway, which is one of the most amazing greenways in town.

I would encourage you to visit Shelby Park, but I'm sure you already are.

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